College Readiness 21
College Readiness-North Eastern Wisconsin
Wisconsin’s 20 independent colleges are increasing access to more students of color, low-income individuals, and first generation college prospects through an initiative called College Readiness 21 (CR 21). The program was started with the help of a generous grant from the FIHE/UPS Venture Fund three years ago. Now, as CR 21’s freshly-minted high school seniors begin to apply for college, we have the unique opportunity to finish the job and help our colleges recruit, admit, and retain talented students from Milwaukee’s central city, one of the lowest performing school systems in the country.
CR 21 believes that higher education is within reach for every motivated high school student regardless of ethnicity, gender, or socioeconomic status. CR 21 encourages, supports, and prepares minority, low income, and first-generation college prospects in their transition from high school to post-secondary education. CR 21 targets students with average grades, but who are motivated to go to college - what we call “diamonds in the rough.”
CR21 in Milwaukee
In 2002, WFIC started CR 21 in Milwaukee with 50 students. During the 2005-06 school year (CR 21‘s fourth operational year), we will serve 215 students. Eighty percent of participants qualify for free or reduced hot lunch. Seventy-five percent are African Americans, 20 percent Latino and 5 percent Asian American and Caucasian.
Thirty-five out of 50 of CR 21’s first cohort of students have remained and will be seniors. These are students who are serious about their futures, having attended three years of monthly campus visits nine times a year and three weeklong summer camps. We told them, “If you get on the bus, we will get you into college.” The students have done what we asked. Their grades are one GPA point higher than their peers on average, they are in school 97.2% of the time, and they have moved from grade to grade without delay in a system where truancy, flunking, and dropouts are rampant. We need to now make good on our promise.
College Readiness in Northeastern Wisconsin
College Readiness 21-Northeastern Wisconsin assists minority, low-income, and first generation college prospects to complete high school and prepare for post-secondary educational opportunities.
CR 21 Northeastern Wisconsin (NEW) just completed its first operational cycle (the 2004-05 school year, from February to July 2005), with 57 first generation college prospects participating in the program. CR 21 NEW’s goal is to have an expanding impact across Northeastern Wisconsin by providing disadvantaged students motivated to go to college with resources and options. At the same time CR 21 expands the number of students prepared for success in college and careers, the program assists Wisconsin’s 20 independent colleges and universities and our partner public and technical colleges to fulfill their potential to recruit and educate Northeastern Wisconsin first-generation college students. At the start of the 2005-06 school year, another 50 to 65 students will enroll in the program.
For Information about CR21…
In Milwaukee contact JohnRae’ Stowers at 414/273-5980, extension 16 or by email at
In Northeaster Wisconsin contact Tori Nelson at 920/686-6113 or by email at